Poachers Have Already Killed Eleven African Rhinos in 2012


Written by Stephen Messenger

It’s been just a little over two weeks since the new year began, but it’s already shaping up to be another deadly year for South Africa’s imperiled rhinos. In just the last half-month alone, poachers have claimed the lives of at least eleven rhinos for the purpose of removing their horns — with eight found dead in just one day — putting 2012 on track to be one of the worst years for rhinos ever.

Ground zero for rhino poaching in South Africa has been Kruger national park, a sprawling 7,523 square mile big game reserve along the country’s border with Mozambique. In 2011, over half of the 448 rhinos killed in South Africa resided within Kruger, despite the presence of some 500 park rangers.

Faced with the the recent poaching spike, South African authorities plan to add 150 more rangers to patrol Kruger and install a 95-mile electric barrier along the area most trafficked by the illegal hunters, reports the BBC.

South Africa has been badly hit by poaching because it has the largest population of rhinos in the world, with about 20,000 animals – 70-80% of the global figure.

The number of rhinos slaughtered in 2010 was 333.

Growing Asian demand for rhino horn, believed to be a remedy for various illness including cancer, is thought to be behind the recent spike in rhino killings, even though there is no scientific evidence for its reputed medicinal properties.

As South African authorities have begun thinking of new ways to combat poaching, concerned citizen from around the world are doing their part as well, through various NGOs and conservation organizations, like Save the Rhinos International.

Recently, South African citizen Mark Warren posted a video to YouTube outlining the statistics on rhino hunting. Perhaps serving as an indication that the public was as yet unaware of the scale of the rhino problem, the video has already gone viral, having been viewed over 250 thousand times.

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.


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Western Black Rhino Declared Extinct

Will Poisoning Rhino Horns Stop Poaching?


Photo: screenshot from Youtube video


W. C
W. Cabout a year ago

Thank you.

William C
William Cabout a year ago


Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Will Rogers
Will Rogers5 years ago

With the exception of the Yangtze River dolphin, there is one similarity in the extinction of these animals.......European expansion. It seems that we killed most of the animals,and while we are conservation minded now, we weren't when we needed to be, and now it's too late. We are doing the same things with elephants and other big game animals, we killed them in the millions and now want to blame the Chinese, when it was us who killed so many of them that it made their populations unsustainable.

ann paveletz
.5 years ago

What has been done to prohibit this action? Ann

David N.
David N5 years ago

Thanks for the article and the video.

ELENA NOVO5 years ago

Only those high authorities can stop people from buying rhino horn ... Their people won’t listen to outsiders.... The Vietnamese and Chinese governments (must) condemn it, and categorically state that (rhino horn) is not a cure for (any) sickness
The anti-poaching rangers have to fight fire with fire and they have to use the same equipment…. They’re risking their lives every day; the poachers would not think twice at shooting at them. It’s really scary stuff out in the field....

Andrea Mameli
Andrea Mameli5 years ago

Dear pam life in a zoo is no life for any animal ... what you said is just stupid ...
We need more controls, harsher sentences and rangers honest! The Africa is a country where the money of these poachers come in handy to many people and many of them do not care about what is around them every day.
Africa is mostly damaged by those who lives here!

pam w.
pam w5 years ago

To those of you who are rabidly anti-zoo.....without zoos and captive breeding programs, rhinos will be extinct within a decade.

Alex Mekic
Alex Mekic5 years ago

I just feel that poaching will continue until all rhinos are wiped out. Meanwhile China is enjoying this while rhino continue to suffer. No wonder this is a crisis, because of CHINA! I hope they collapse, because growth in their economy wont last.